Facebook Twitter Google+ Shout YouTube SoundCloud RSS

‘SAND PIRATES’: Are ISIS America’s 21st Century Terror Privateers?

1-Patrick-henningsen-BWPatrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

What is ISIS? If you believe government and corporate media propaganda, then you probably still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement – with no connection to foreign agencies like the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan’s ISI.

You would be partly correct, in that there is a grassroots element to ISIS, one which coalesces around vulnerable poor, economically and politically disaffected, young Sunni Muslims – all needed to refill the lower foot soldiers ranks of their fighting force, and yes, some members of ISIS have an ideological belief system, even though it’s not a very pleasant one. Theirs is a highly distorted, violent version of Islam, and a 360º theater of terror. Their force is a formidable one and international in membership. This is Mujaheddin 2.0, a turbo-charged jihadist mercenary conclave of 21st century privateers, and almost certainly managed and run by allied ‘Coalition’ intelligence agencies.

According the latest UN report, foreign jihadists are heading into Iraq and Syria on “an unprecedented scale”, with bulk of the Syrian rebellion being 15,000 ‘Islamist’  foreign fighters. Hardly an Arab Spring. The middle and upper ranks of ISIS include thousands of seasoned mercenary Islamic fighters from countries far and wide including, but not limited to, escaped terrorist convicts, and former detainees released from Guantanamo Bay.


The other mythology that’s been erected around ISIS, is the idea that they are an “Islamic State” and economically self-sufficient, fledgling Caliphate – with global ambitions. How western leaders and their media minions can refer to a terrorist-organized crime confab as a “state” defies belief and, in a funny way, actually dignifies and lends an air of political legitimacy – which this ‘brand’ may not actually deserve, but count on the western media who have effectively created ISIS to also be the ones to give it legitimacy later in the story, when the west begins to ‘negotiate’ with ISIS.

No, they’re not a state, and cannot actual govern territory in any real sense. Any temporary mandate they would have over a town or village would be based on a type of theocratic-mafia state model employing heavy-handed extortion rackets, an array of syndicates, black markets, local intimidation and general warlordism. Still, you can’t stop America’s reactionary millionaire pundit class (FOX’s Sean Hannity, Megan Kelly et all, and Michael Savage, Glenn Beck) in the US from talking up ad nauseum the threat of an ISIS ‘Islamic Caliphate’ taking over the North America and western civilization and somehow implementing Sharia Law. That’s a free hint, and nice little take-away for producers at CNN, FOX News, BBC and the rest – all of whom are supplying ISIS will countless millions in free PR by keeping those camp terrorist propaganda YouTube videos on heavy rotation.

The substance and timing of that series of poorly produced ‘beheading videos’ (in which no one was actually beheaded on camera) is also suspect. Our mainstream media are only feeding the monster.

The reality of ISIS is something altogether different…

1-Jihadi-John-ISIS
ISIS FOR HIRE: Mercenaries, and ISIS actors are always masked, coming from the most unusual places (South London?).

On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing new. They’re being paid for, and directed at the highest levels by powers outside of Iraq and Syria. So it’s no surprise that the US, UK, Saudi, Qatar and Turkey all share the exact same objective as ISIS – the destabilization of secular nation states in the Middle East and the removal of Bashar al Assad in Syria. With the same objectives and agenda, the Western Coalition and ISIS work together like a well-oiled machine. Think of them as McCain’s Private Army (see video, below).

For financial or political reasons, Empires have always used external militarized cells and mercenaries to commit unsavoury acts under a flag different from the monarchy, nation state, or private corporation who was directing them behind the scenes.

In 1979, US agencies, together with Pakistani intelligence, formed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Years later, this fighting force, led by CIA asset Osama bin Laden (code named ‘Tim Osman’), was rebranded into ‘al Qaeda’. Like ISIS, the Mujahideen were also privateers.

In the 1980’s, the Nicaraguan Death Squads and CIA-backed ‘Contra’ rebels, were under the financial and political control of Washington DC and death-squad specialist John Negroponte (photo, left). Through cocaine and narcotics trafficking, these paramilitary gangs were also able to fund their conquest to destabilize and terrorize Nicaraguans. So, it was no surprise when Negroponte showed up as US Ambassador in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004, that Islamic death squads began to appear in Iraq featuring some of the most brutal sectarian violence to date.

Negroponte’s understudy during this period was US operative Robert Stephen Ford. After completing his study in Iraq, Ford was then moved in 2010 to become US Ambassador to Syria. Soon after Ford’s arrival, western-backed Flash Mobs and targeted violence against Syrian police and military – erupted in parts of Syria.

It wasn’t long before the Assad government realized why Ford was installed when he was, and promptly forced him out of Damascus in 2011. Not surprisingly, critics believe that it was US operative Robert Ford who laid the groundwork for the emergence of ISIS in Syria.

History Repeats Itself

Ruthless and unconventional “asymmetric” enemies are nothing new to the United States. Historically, the Privateer, or Barbary “Corsair”, was a private person or ship authorized by a government to attack foreign vessels or governments, often covertly. During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Ottoman Corsairs operated along the North African coast, and attacked Colonial American ships for over a century.


OLD SKOOL ISIS: Barbary Pirates were the 17th century ISIS, terrorists who kidnapped and killed people, but controlled behind the scenes by Kings and states. 

Later, many of these Barbary Pirates (Image above) fell under the control of  Morocco’s Sultan Mohammed III. Privateering was also a way of mobilizing a small army without sacrificing real troops or spending state funds to do it. Privateers would generate income and operating capital through black market smuggling, pillaging and plundering treasure booty along the way. They also captured and impressed people into slavery along the way – just like ISIS today.

1-ISIS-Pirates
ALL YOU NEED IS A FLAG: ISIS sans navy. Notice the similarity.

It could be said that the Sultan Mohammed’s ladder day role is being shared by the US-UK-Franco (NATO) Axis and their GCC Gulf allies – the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain et all – all sponsors of the terrorist confab currently laying siege to two of the Middle East’s only secular governments – Syria and Iraq. Each of these monarchies have their own designs on the important strategic and resource rich compartments in Syria and Iraq. It’s been said how the former Emir of Qatar was looking forward to seeing his son Tamim as head of a new Syrian Emirate. Gas-rich Qatar has been a primary backer of the Syrian rebels since the armed civil war began in 2011, hoping to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime.

In addition, Qatar is also supporting Afghanistan’s theocratic Taliban militants – by giving them increased political clout and a plush office in Doha next door to US Central Command (US CENTCOM) in the same capital city. Small world.

In the end, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham), or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), is simply a brand. Anyone could be ISIS, and ISIS could anyone – all you need is a black flag.

In 2014, maybe all we need is a gentle word from the Sultan, or the King, to call off the ISIS pirates. If only it were that simple.

It’s the time-honored practice of non-state actors (with state sponsors) who are let loose to pillage and plunder. Today’s ISIS pirates are really just the 21st century’s version of the ‘privateers’

1-ISIS-CIA-Nicaragua-Negroponte

ISIS: America’s Terrorist Mercenaries


Tony Cartalucci

New Eastern Outlook

Generally historical revision takes place long after events unfold and the victors attempt to bury humiliating or inconvenient truths.

Today, in the age of information, these would-be victors are finding it increasingly necessary to revise history in real-time through a strategy of increasingly repetitive, but decreasingly effective propaganda.


Phase I: Justifying Chaos

It was only in 2007 that US foreign policy openly sought to pursue war against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, while undercutting pro-Iranian factions in Iraq which at the time the US was still occupying. Failing to accomplish this directly, the US planned a not-so-covert proxy war that would include funding, politically backing, and even arming groups ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to militants aligned with Al Qaeda itself. 

This is perhaps best summarized by the prophetic 2007 report “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh and published in the New Yorker.


It stated (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran.

The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh would also go on to chronicle American political and financial support that was being provided to the Muslim Brotherhood, even then under then US President George Bush.

In all, the supposedly “spontaneous” uprisings referred to by the Western media as the “Arab Spring” in 2011 were being engineered years ahead of time – not in an attempt to promote peaceful pro-democratic aspirations, but to serve as cover for ultra-violent foreign-backed insurrections that would leave a trail of destruction stretching along Africa’s northern coast, all the way to the borders of Iran, Russia, and even China.

Phase II: The War 

After denying any role in the “Arab Spring” unrest, the US would soon not only openly support the protesters in the streets, but also support armed militants that followed in the wake of protests. This support included that of a military dimension – with militants in Libya being provided aircover and special forces initially, to eventually the air-dropping of weapons, equipment, and other supplies.

US Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) would even travel to the terrorist capital of Libya – Benghazi – and offer US support in person. He would stand literally upon the footsteps of Benghazi’s courthouse where Al Qaeda rallies would be held shortly after, promising weapons to men who would later slaughter a US ambassador in that very city.

After the destruction of Libya’s government amid NATO’s intervention, Benghazi would serve as a terrorist epicenter where weapons, cash, and fighters were being staged before being sent to NATO-member Turkey and then to fight in northern Syria. Among these terrorists were seasoned militants of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an official Al Qaeda franchise in North Africa. One of their leaders, Abdel Hakim Belhadj would eventually find himself in power in Tripoli after the collapse of the Libyan government, and even have his photograph taken with Senator McCain (see below).

1-McCain-Libya-Belhaj-Al-Qaeda
McCain’s Army: US Arms Sales Rep. John McCain in Benghazi, Libya, with former Gitmo detainee and al Qaeda General and US double agent, Abdel Hakim Belhaj.

Predictably, as NATO shifted resources and attention from the overthrow of Libya to the overthrow of Syria, the conflict aimed at Damascus escalated. It did not however succeed. Instead, the West found itself in a protracted proxy war in which its role in arming, aiding, and abetting hardcore sectarian extremists became increasingly obvious.

Phase III: The “Rise” of ISIS 

Clearly, the rise of the so-called “Islamic State” or ISIS, did not happen overnight, nor by accident. It was not only the logical result of the United States continuing its strategy of proxy warfare it had carried out against Libya, now unfolding in Syria, it was also the premeditated, documented result of what veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned about in 2007.

It is a threat that not only Syria understands all too well, but a threat its allies including Iraq, Iran, and Russia fully understand and are mobilizing against.

The US has found itself revising history, attempting to explain the existence of ISIS lurking in the footprints of its massive support of so-called “moderates” in Syria’s ongoing conflict. The US has attempted to claim ISIS has built itself on “donations,” selling oil to the black market, and by taking hostages for ransom. If only building a multinational terrorist mercenary force was that easy, we could imagine Syria, Iraq, and Iran would likewise have vast mercenary armies to outmatch ISIS in an afternoon.

The reality is, to explain how the US and its regional partners have provided “moderates” with billions in aid only to have ISIS rise up and displace these “moderates,” we must realize that there were never any “moderates” to begin with, and that the US intentionally armed and funded terrorists, just as Hersh warned in 2007, to create a terrorist mercenary army that “espouses a militant vision of Islam” and is “sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

ISIS didn’t displace the “moderates,” the truth of what America has done in the Middle East has displaced the lies the West has been telling the public starting in 2011 at the height of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

It is essential that people around the world continue to spread this this truth faster than the West can spread its chaos.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

READ MORE ISIS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire ISIS Files

21wire

21wire

We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.
21wire

@21WIRE

We're covering news you won't necessarily find in the mainstream, and things which regularly confuse career politicians, CNN and MSNBC viewers... #SundayWire
RT @21WIRE: Here's what the #MSM will not tell you about #Manchester ... https://t.co/6hG4SLzXFt - 3 hours ago
21wire